Tag Archives: jazz vocalists

June Christy: Ballads for Night People

Following the success of her signature recording Something Cool, originally recorded in 1953 as a ten inch and supplemented in ’55 with additional tracks for LP release, June Christy cut a number of long-playing albums with a loosely-based concept. The LP was still in its infancy, and many singers and musicians were experimenting with the form, creating new and interesting settings for the songs they performed and allowing the listener a more atmospheric listening experience.

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Luciana Souza: The Book of Longing

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Read Luciana Souza: The New Bossa Nova

by Marshall Bowden

Luciana Souza is a singer who takes more than a passing interest in the words that she is singing. Previous projects have revolved around poetry and literature: The Poems of Elizabeth Bishop and Other Songs (2000) and Neruda (2004) were based, respectively, on the work of Elizabeth Bishop, an American poet who lived in Brazil for nearly two decades and Chilean poet Pablo Neruda.

Souza’s newest album, The Book of Longing takes its title from Leonard Cohen’s 2006 collection of poetry. She sets the titular poem to music in a track called “The Book.” She adapts Cohen’s tribute to departed singer Carl Anderson, “Nightingale” as “Night Song.” She also takes on Edna St. Vincent Millay’s “Alms”, a sweet melancholy poem about the seasons of love, Emily Dikinson’s “We Grow Accustomed to the Dark,” and Rosetti’s “Remember.” And there are four of Luciana’s own lyrics set to music that is conceived and arranged by her.

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Too Cool For Words: June Christy and Something Cool

by Marshall Bowden

Read June Christy/Ballads for Night People

“Something cool…I’d like to order something cool” says the dame in the smoky, slightly seedy bar that is something out of a Raymond Chandler story. The kind of place where maybe there could be trouble at any moment; where maybe a couple of guys in raincoats with noses as crooked as a gerrymandered voting district come in and start asking questions. And that can’t be anything but trouble for you.

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